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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Somali pirates free nine Indians and Bangladeshis seafarers

Reuters, Mogadishu, 15 November : Somali pirates have freed nine Indian and Bangladeshi seafarers after businessmen and clan elders in the country's semi-autonomous northern Puntland region negotiated their release, residents said on Sunday.
The sailors were dropped off late on Saturday in Puntland's capital Garowe. It was not immediately clear which vessel they came from, or whether any ransom was paid. Somali sea gangs have been holding at least 13 ships and more than 230 crew hostage.

Third suicides in 60 hours in 3 days at Kolkata Metro
Kolkata, 15 November : In the third suicide reported from the Metro lines in as many days, an unidentified youth jumped to death before a Dum Dum-bound train at the Sovabazar Sutanuti station on Sunday evening.
The incident, which occurred around 4 pm, disrupted Metro services that was restored only around 4.50 pm, when the body was retrieved from under the train. According to a Metro official, the Down trains were running as per schedule and the incident afected only the Up trains. “The driver tried his best to halt the train, but the boy jumped at the very last moment. This is the third day in a row that a suicide has been reported from the Metro tracks,” said a senior Metro railway official. A case has been registered with the Sovabazar police station.
In Govt to revive West Bengal's closed fertiliser units
New Delhi, Kolkata, 15 November : The Indian government will revive the two closed state-owned fertiliser units in West Bengal through public-private partnership (PPP), a senior official said said Saturday.
Steel Secretary Atul Chaturvedi said at a seminar that the government would float global tender in a month to find private partners for reviving the two units one in Haldia and the other in Durgapur. ‘The two units belonged to Hindustan Fertiliser Corp and each had a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes,’ Chaturvedi, who had also served as the fertiliser secretary, said. The PPP will be based on revenue sharing, he said, adding that the revival of each unit would cost Rs.4,000 crore.
The Haldia unit was closed down down two decades ago, while the Durgapur unit shut down in 1997.

Ethnic violence in Mizoram : Thousands displaced, 225 houses burnt
Aizawl, Agartala, 15 November : Mobs have set fire to over 225 huts of Reang tribals in Mizoram, displacing several thousand people as tension escalated following the gunning down of a Mizo youth, officials said here Sunday.
"The mobs have set ablaze more than 225 houses of Reang tribals in seven villages under Mamit and Kolashib districts in southern Mizoram since Saturday, displacing over 5,000 people," a Mizoram home department official said. The displaced tribals have taken shelter in adjacent south Highlakhandhi areas of southern Assam and Jampui in northern Tripura.

Bhairab-Kishoreganj blockade continues for third day
Kishoreganj, 15 November : People of Bhairab and Kuliarchar continued the nonstop Kishoreganj blockade programme for the third day on Sunday to press home their demand to upgrade Bhairab to a district.
The blockade enforced by Bhairab District Implementation Committee and All-party Action Council began on Friday. The protesters brought out a procession in Kishoreganj district town on Saturday night protesting offensive comments against Speaker Abdul Hamid and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam. Demonstrators took positions on highways, waterways and railway station in Bhairab in the morning. Train, bus and launch services between Dhaka and Kishoreganj via Bhairab and Bhairab and Kishoreganj launch service remained suspended.
However, vehicular movement between Dhaka and Bhairab was out of the purview of the blockade. Photo : Focus Bangla

An unidentified body recovered from Goaltore forest

Midnapore, 15 November : An unidentified body was recovered today from the Hatimara forest area in Goaltore in West Midnapore. According to a senior police officer, Susanta Pratihar, a CPI(M) supporter, was kidnapped from Goaltore on Thursday. There are possibilities that Susanta was killed by Maoists, said the officer.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Jhargram (Operations), Murlidhar said: “We have sent our personnel to the area to recover the body from the forest.”
Meanwhile, there was a gunbattle between Maoists and the joint forces today in Jhalukbasa forest. The forest falls in the stretch between Sarenga and Goaltore. “We had a tip off that a squad of Maoists from Jharkhand had sneaked into West Midnapore through the Sarenga forest in Bankura. Accordingly, we started our operations in the bordering area. The Maoists, however, managed to flee,” said a senior officer of the district police.

PM Sheikh Hasina leaves for Four-day visit to Italy
Dhaka, 15 November : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka Sunday morning on a four-day visit to Italy.
The prime minister left Zia International Airport at 10 am(BDST) aboard a regular Bangladesh Biman flight. On her way to Italy, Hasina will break her journey briefly in Dubai. Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury, food minister Dr Abdur Razzak and foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni accompanied the PM. The members of the cabinet, chiefs of army, navy and air force and senior government officials saw the PM off at ZIAirport.
Hasina is scheduled to join a three-day Food and Agriculture Organisation summit in Rome.
Titan Energy’s solar power plant in WB's joins grid
Kolkata, 15 November : The renewable energy plant is expected to power over 500 homes and a few coal mines in the Burdwan district. Electricity from the unit is being fed into the power grid of utility provider DPSC Ltd, Seebpore, Asansol.
Hyderabad-based Titan Energy designed and built the power plant for the West Bengal Energy Development Corporation Ltd (WBEDCL). The capacity of the unit is slightly over 1 MW and 250 kW would be added early next year, said Rao S.Y.S. Chodagam, MD. The capital cost of the plant works out to Rs 18 crore per MW as of July 2008 rates. On the other hand, the cost of generating electricity is Rs 15 per kWh, the company said. In comparison, the price for other sources of electricity paid by the utility in West Bengal ranges between Rs 3 and Rs 4.50 per unit.
The West Bengal Government has also come up with a slew of incentives to promote solar energy initiatives in the State, including a lucrative tariff and subsidy.

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